STATEMENT BY SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEW YORK PRESIDENT & CEO STACEY HENGSTERMAN ON UNIFIED SPORTS AMENDMENT
“On behalf of our athletes and partners in nearly 180 Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools across the state, thank you to the NYS Board of Regents for extending Unified Sports eligibility to students over age 19.
“This amendment represents a major victory for Generation Unified – the more than 8,000 students across the state who, by playing Unified, have chosen to make social justice, acceptance and inclusion a priority in their schools.
“Together with our partners at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and individual schools throughout the state, we will continue to grow Unified Sports and support the inclusive school communities our youth leaders are creating statewide.”
About Unified Sports
Unified Sports, which include participation by athletes with and without intellectual disabilities playing on the same team, is one of the fastest growing sports movements in the world. Contributing to its rapid growth is the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program, which uses a three-component model of Unified Sports, inclusive youth leadership, and whole school engagement to create school and community climates of acceptance and inclusion. Statewide, Special Olympics New York partners with nearly 180 Unified Champion Schools (UCS) and more than 8,000 participating students.
About Special Olympics New York
Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 67,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with more than 170 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.